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Arachnophobia cured: the Tarantula Nebula

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#1 Aperturefever

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

As Alex has pointed out previously, we have had a terrible run of clear, moonlesss nights on the east coast of Australia this summer. I have been itching to have a go at the Tarantula Nebula and, rusty as I obviously am, I took it on last night from my suburban back yard. A DGM Optics filter makes this thing explode into photo-like tendils of nebulosity and dust lanes.
It's my favourite nebula in the sky because of its intricate nature, but a lack of practice and technique meant I didn't really nail it as I would have liked. I wasn't quite sure what I had got at the eyepiece until I saw it in the daylight - it was better than what I felt I had, but I still think this is a practice run and am looking forward to trying again at my dark sky site.
This is in a 16" with a Paracorr II and 13mm Ethos. An awesome eyepiece but impossible to try and frame - the field of view was bigger than this, but this is how it turned out. I spent about 1.5 hours at the eyepiece and am just loving my Catsperch - you can really concentrate on what you're doing.

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#2 Andrev

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

I don't know this nebula but it's a very nice representation. Nice sketch.

Andre

#3 maroubra_boy

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:46 PM

Sunshine, 'bout time you put the donk to use!

And you chose one heck of a beast to tackle first off! Sensational! Nothing like wrestling a croc with a Bowie knife first time you go hunting - same here, and you've survived with only some skin scraped off the knuckles, :D

Now, let's see some more.

Alex.

#4 frank5817

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:05 AM

Hello Sean,

I have seen a few sketches of the Tarantula neb and quite a few photos and based on my very limited experience (a very far north of the equator person) it is a lovely eyepiece capture. What is with you aussies astronomers are you all wonderfully artistic or what?

Frank :)

#5 mike73

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:50 AM

I dont know this nebula either but the sketch looks terrific!

#6 niteskystargazer

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:14 AM

Sean,

Very nice sketch of the Tarantula Nebula :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#7 PeterDob

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

OMG!!! Yet another work worthy of a museum! And you call this "rusty"??? I'm deeply impressed mate! You and Alex are both great artists and I can't wait to see more of your work. Absolutely fabulous! :bow:

Peter

#8 Jef De Wit

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

What a detail :jawdrop: Impressive work!

#9 Special Ed

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

Looks to me like you got a lot of the rust knocked off--very nicely done! What an amazing object the TN must be. :cool:

#10 Aperturefever

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

Thanks for the encouragement everyone - I do appreciate it. Alex, you're cracking the whip - there's a suprise :grin:
The Tarantula Nebula is NGC 2070 and hangs off the Large Magellanic Cloud. It is one of the most intricate, busy-looking nebulae in the sky and a real tough challenge. I note I wrote on the sketch it was done with a 10mm Ethos - I think the late night was getting to me, as it was a 13mm (I don't have a 10mm). I believe I was thinking at the time how I had seemed to zone in on the view and cut some of the surrounds out, giving it more a 10mm view. I think my next shot at this will use an 8mm Ethos. In the past I used to sketch from the outside of the view towards the centre, but using an Ethos I think I will now just work my way out from the centre so I can get the star fields right.

#11 HellsKitchen

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

Beautiful. Very detailed and truly captured what it looks like in a large aperture.

Conversely we had many clear nights in Melbourne, and I am looking at purchasing a property near Mildura where it's been clear almost every day for the last 3 months (I've observed there before and it's been stunning), although even my thinking about it has resulted in a highly unusual forecast of showers and storms every day this week, downgraded from "sunny" eveery single day!!!!!

#12 Aperturefever

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:56 PM

Beautiful. Very detailed and truly captured what it looks like in a large aperture.

Conversely we had many clear nights in Melbourne, and I am looking at purchasing a property near Mildura where it's been clear almost every day for the last 3 months (I've observed there before and it's been stunning), although even my thinking about it has resulted in a highly unusual forecast of showers and storms every day this week, downgraded from "sunny" eveery single day!!!!!

Geez mate it rains for a month of Sundays when you buy a new eyepiece. A whole dark sky site? We better build an ark then ... :grin:

#13 JimPie

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

So many of us Northern astronomers have never seen this or anything else in the LMC (including myself). Thanks for posting a beautiful rendering of this object.
I also like what you've done to your Light Bridge Love the color and mods.

#14 Aperturefever

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:44 PM

Thanks for the props, Jim. ATMing and sketching are on a level standing as satisfying pursuits go! This site is fun to look through, even if you can't see the LMC from your location: http://cloudsofmagellan.net.au/ Given I'm showing the Tarantula off to a lot of people who can't see it, I think I'll revisit it soon for a closer look.

#15 Ed D

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:39 AM

I Googled the Tarantula and compared your sketch with APs. You did a very nice job of sketching the nebula, including quite a bit of detail.

Ed D

#16 Aperturefever

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:35 PM

Thanks Ed - this nebula is very mottled and intricate - something I feel I missed a bit of and am looking forward to giving it another whirl at my dark sky site. I've been experimenting at my desk, using a combination of the Mellish Technique and some other sketching techniques I used when I was an art student many years ago. I guess it's all about finding out what your own method is by blending a bit of everything else. I'm looking forward to using the method I've come up with to see how it works while juggling a clipboard under torchlight. It was interesting to use the Astrocrumb filter slide on the Tarantula - a fun project would be to combine the OIII and Omega Optics NPB filter views. So many projects ... but so many cloudy nights ...






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